Christmas has come and gone and our garage is still markedly empty, so there’s not too much new to report about our life here in Honduras. I’m still reading about this place every day though (even attempting a few Spanish articles now and then), so there’s plenty to say about Honduras itself this month.
The Honduran President announced this week that Soto Cano, the U.S.-built military base roughly an hour outside the capital, will be converted into the country’s major civilian airport. This would be exciting, if it hadn’t been promised many times before to no avail. But It’s still an interesting idea, considering that the short runway and dangerous conditions at Toncontin can only accommodate mid-size planes at best. (Watch the video to understand why.) As it stands, flying in and out of Teguc is expensive and options are limited. We’ve been told by exasperated locals that it will never happen and even if it does, we’ll be long gone before it’s done. But I’d be interested to see if Soto Cano could offer more options at more affordable prices.
I’m sure by now everyone and their mom (hi, mom!) has heard about Steve Harvey’s mix up at the Miss Universe contest. But what people have been talking about here is a little more controversial (and potentially consequential.) Miss Honduras made an interesting national costume choice, donning a headdress and gown complete with skulls. Officially it’s a nod to the country’s Mayan history, but it’s not a big leap to suspect that the skulls has more meaning. It could reference the country’s soaring homicide rate or even the recent scandal with the national health care system. Either way, considering last year’s Miss Honduras was literally gunned down, it’s a bold move.
Disclaimer: don’t click this next link unless you can handle dead bodies. Speaking of the high homicide rate here, there was a random murder of a street merchant close by last week. It never hits home until it’s close to home, I guess, but it really boggles the mind how little value is placed on life here. Murder is just a regular part of life, especially considering 98% of murders are never investigated. There are constant reminders of it here, too, like the murder of Honduran national soccer star Arnold Peralta or the death of fifteen people in two separate massacres around Thanksgiving.
Unfortunately, it’s more of the same in the news lately. For better or worse, it doesn’t feel like it to us. We’re fairly insulated from it all, but that’s also by design since we also don’t really get out much. I hate to admit that our biggest problem, in a country full of actual problems, is just plain boredom. Compared to everything else, it’s not such a bad problem to have.